Learning It

Don dropped his sword, staring at Danny.  "How do you do this?" he demanded, panting hard.  "This is *hard*!"

"It is, but it'll save your ass," Danny countered, backing off.  "You're not doing too bad for only being a few weeks old."

"Gee, thanks. I feel like I should die now."

"Go ahead, you'll wake back up," Danny said dryly, tossing him a towel then a bottle of juice.  He wiped his own face and sword grip off.  "Xander?" he called.

"Working with Connor in the other room," Don reminded him.  He went to check on them, seeing how Connor was teaching him. "That's different than I get," he noted when Danny came up behind him.

"Xander's got a different fighting style than you do because he's lighter and less of a brawler," Danny pointed out. "We'll use his flexibility and bounciness to his advantage.  Connor's training him like he did me."  Don looked at him. "Seriously."  They looked in there as Connor lunged and Xander shifted, then blocked, then ducked under and behind him, taking a swing at the older guy's back.  Connor said something, making Xander laugh, dropping his sword in the process.  Connor lunged and Xander kissed him, making him go numb and slack-jawed.  "That is Xander's best weapon," Danny said quietly.  "That attraction of his and the ability to make people lose focus with his body.  It'll stand him well for generations."  He patted Don on the back.   "We can let you two work together for a bit.  Go get your sword."  Don went to do that while he walked in. "Connor, Don's about done for the day stamina wise.  Wanna let these two work together?"

"Sure," he agreed, wiping off his own face.  "Xander's getting there.  His former teachings aren't excellent but they're enough to start from."  Don came in with his sword.  "You two face off while we watch.  Then I'll take Don next time to correct any faults."  Don nodded, facing off with Xander.  "Xander doesn't attack first," Connor offered.  Don snorted and attacked, Xander blocked, rolled under then behind him, getting him from the side when he turned.  Don hissed at the new cut, but attacked again, then had to block a few offensive moves from the kid.  Xander finally got him pinned and rubbed against him, making Don moan.

"Admit it, you wanna give it up for me," he teased.

"Only the first shower, you stink worse."  He shoved him off and went after him again.  Xander smirked and got him down, sword against his neck.  "Xander," he said quietly.

"Off," Connor called.  "No pressure on it, Xander."

"I know."  He got off him and helped Don up. "Sorry."

"No, this is one you play to win," he agreed.  "You should do that."  He patted him on the back.  "I need more work."

"You're not bad for only being a few weeks in the game," Connor promised.  "You're a week ahead of what Danny was when he came over. We'll get you to the point where you can defend yourself if challenged within the next few months."  That got a nod.  "Good.  Now, let's get you two home and rested.  We'll do it again tomorrow night."

"Tomorrow I've got a late night," Don admitted. "No one wanted the seven to nine so it's mine."

Connor nodded. "I can deal with that. Danny, what's yours tomorrow?"

"Four ta twelve."

"Midnight?" Connor demanded, looking at him.  Danny nodded.  "Why?"

"Crime doesn't stop when the sun goes down," he snorted.  "I'm one of the few field guys, we go out until the overnight shift comes on.  Oh, did I tell you I found my Watcher?"

"No, you hadn't.  Who?"

"Mac," he said quietly, making Connor laugh.  "Yeah."  He looked at Don.  "By the way, guys, Mac and probably Stella too, know as well."

"Mac's one of those Watcher guys?" Don asked.  Connor nodded, smirking some.  "Okay.  Can they help us?"

"They're not supposed to," Connor told him.  "They're supposed to write it down and watch it happen.  Not interfere."

"Which is probably why Mac rides you so much, so he doesn't get too close," Xander told Danny.

"Yeah, probably.  Some day soon though I'll make him break and growl again."  He grinned at them.  "Go home and eat, guys."

"Yes, Danny."  They headed out together, going home.  Where Aiden was pacing in front of the door.  "Sorry, we were at the gym."

"I can tell, you're sweaty."  Xander let them in and paused to look at the present on the couch.  "The doorman called me when he couldn't reach you.  Someone broke in again."

"I thought we had the better security system," Xander said, coming over to look.  "Huh.  Don, it's case related.  It says it's a present to the detective."  He went for the bathroom first.  Don could shower later.

Don looked at it.  "Aiden, you wanna do the honors?"

"Let me get my kit," she said, hurrying to do that.  She came back and took pictures of it before slipping on some gloves.  "I should probably have this scanned for explosives."

Xander came out and sniffed it then shook his head.  "Flowers."  He went back to the bathroom.  He came out in a towel this time, noticing Aiden was blushing.  "Sorry.  Shower's free, Don."  He went to put on jammie bottoms to spare her modesty and came back out.  "You can borrow my little camera and punch a hole in the side so you can look in it," he offered once Don was in the bathroom.

She looked at him.  "You have a pinhole camera?"

"Yeah.  It came with a note suggesting I could spy on him like he did on me.  Don growled him into moving to New Jersey a few weeks ago."

She shook her head quickly.  "Okay then.  Where is it?"

"My closet in the blue shoe box with the other stuff."

"Thanks."  She went to get that, coming back out with the box.  "This is an explosives tester," she noted, holding something up.  "It sniffs out certain chemicals."  She ran it over the box, not getting anything.  A quick puncture and she inserted the camera, looking in the eyehole.  She pulled back and unscrewed it, removing the picture that had been between the viewing portal and the eye cup, handing that to Don when he came out in a pair of pajama pants.  She went back to looking it over.  "Flowers, flat vase.  Fake."  She pulled it out and slit around the top to lift it off, handing him the card.

"Hmm."  Don looked at it, then at her.  "Remember Gretchen?"

"Psycho slut who bragged she could suck the dents out of a golf ball?"  Don nodded at that.  "Her?  Really?"  She took it back to look over.  "Yup, guess it was.  Didn't know you were banging him now, Flackie."

Xander shrugged.  "I offered but he said that was too high of a payment for protecting me," he joked.  Aiden swatted him but laughed.  "Hey, I have the *right* to brag.  Seventeen people paid a hundred grand or more for an hour of my time."  He shrugged and gave her an impish grin.  "I'm entitled to it."  Someone knocked on the door.  "Who is it?"

"It's momma," she called.   Xander got up to let her in.  "What happened?" she asked, staring at him.

"I was finding myself for six weeks.  It's how we found out about my incredible kidnaping skills."  He shrugged and sat down again. "Maybe she'd like the flowers."

"Ma, you want some flowers my two-dates ex sent?" Don asked, checking it over before handing it to her.

"They're very pretty, Don.  Who sent them?"

"Gretchen.  She thinks I'm sleeping with Xander too."  He looked at his mother.  "He's out of the business, has been since before I got him as a protectee, Ma.  I promise.  It hardly ever comes back to haunt him."

"That's good at least.  They're not the ones trying to take him?"

"Nope.  It's others who want him.  They're mostly satisfied to dream and desire, but go with less pricey people at the specialty place he used ta work.  Xander broke off all his ties with them and when one tried to reestablish it he kicked his ass."

"Good."  She patted Xander on the head.  "That's a very good boy, Xander."

"Thank you.  Hey, Don, you know how you said we'd talk about pets?"

"No cats. I'm allergic to cats."

"Yes, Don.  A dog?"

"We'll see."  Xander beamed and nodded. "Go play in your room."  Xander went to do that.  "He's a good kid, Ma. He was on a road trip to find himself and made a crappy decision.  But it is how he afforded this place."

"I had wondered."  She patted him on the cheek.  "Would you like to come to dinner tonight?"

"Sure.  I've gotta get dressed. I'm just out of the shower.  Aiden, can you watch Xander for me?"

"Sure.  I'll give him another cooking lesson."   Don grinned and went to change into jeans and a shirt, heading home with his mother for a bit.  "Xander, wanna go have some fun?" she called once they were alone.  He peeked his head out, looking at her, giving her a wary, but gleeful grin.  "Come on.  Get dressed, we'll go hit a club and find me more body slaves."  Xander cackled and came out in a pair of suede pants and a muscle shirt, making her drool.  "That's hot."  He nodded, putting on some biker boots and grabbing his keys.  His wallet went down the front of his pants, making her stare at that part of him.  "That's not natural," she said in awe.

He looked down at himself, then at her.  "Yes it is.  I'm average."

"I doubt it, baby."  She looked in his eyes again.  "No wonder you make men scream."

"Men, women, both at the same time, multiple of either," he offered with a smirk, taking her arm.  "We should let you change too.  Wanna borrow a tighter t-shirt?"  She took off her jacket and outer shirt, leaving herself in a tank top and her pants.  "Okay, good enough.  Let's go."  He led her out, locking the door behind them.  "Cab?"

"Would probably be wiser," she agreed, taking his arm to stroll off with him.  He only enhanced her hotness.  She would not be going home alone tonight.


Don walked in and found Aiden's jacket thrown on the couch.  "Guys?" he called.  No answer.  He groaned and called Aiden's phone, hearing it ring from the couch.  "No!" he moaned, going down to talk to the doorman.  "Xander and Aiden went where?" he asked.

"She told the driver of the cab to take her to Inferno, Mr. Flack."

Don sighed and shook his head.  "What was he wearing?"

"Suede.  Very nice suede.  It made me wanna pet him.  She was in a tank top as well."

Don trudged off, going to look up the club's number and have Aiden paged.  Who he got was the officer in charge of the scene.  "This is Detective Flack.  CSI Burns and my protectee were there together.  Are they in trouble?  No, they snuck out while I went home to have dinner with my parents."  He listened to the rundown of the scene.  "Xander's a brunette, tallish, thin, apparently wearing suede and a tank top?  CSI Burns is Aiden.  Yeah, her."  He leaned back, still holding his head.  "Should I call Taylor?"  The doorknob jiggled.  "Hold on.  It's open!" he snapped.  Aiden walked in looking dizzy.  "They're here.  Thanks."  He nodded. "I'll bring 'em in tomorrow.  My desk, yeah."  He hung up and glared at them.  "What were you thinking!  You didn't have your phone, you weren't armed!  Why are you wearing turquoise?"

"Because the person who wanted Xander gave it to me if I'd quit nagging him for ten minutes so he could molest the boy's mouth.  Xander made him cry and we walked out together.  He got onyx and obsidian with his turquoise."  She flopped down on top of her jacket, jumping when it buzzed.  "Hey!  No vibrators!"

Xander shrugged a bit.  "It was her idea, Don, I was being good.  I got us away from the big meany with the tiny prick who thought four inches made him a man."  He started to move and Don growled.  He sat down, he knew that sound all too well.  "Sorry."

"You're gonna be!  The cops are still at that club."

"It was a robbery," Xander defended. "They wanted us just as much as the till."

Don squeezed his eyes shut then opened them and looked at them.  "Gee, I wonder why," he said bitterly.  "Go change, Xander."  He scurried to do that.  "Aiden!"  She whimpered but he wasn't taking pity on her.  "You can't take Xander without being armed and ready to take him back.  I can't go out with him unless I'm armed and ready to take him back.  That is the rule, right?"  She nodded slowly, pouting at him.  "Tough, woman!  You both nearly died this time."  She got up and gave him a hug.  "Thank you, but you're still in trouble. I don't wanna lose you," he said more quietly. "I should spank you both."

"Only if I get to be in silk panties and squeal," she said, making him groan and sit down, which meant she followed since she hadn't let him go.  "I'm sorry. I thought it'd be harmless.  I didn't know the club was going to be robbed."

"Yeah, well, they're still looking for the guy."

"He was stringing himself up when we left, Xander cut him brutally."  Don sighed and handed her the phone.  "Redial?"  He nodded.  She hit redial. "This is CSI Burns."  She smiled at the cop.  "No, we're fine.  They decided they wanted us as much as the till.  No, Xander laid into him verbally to keep himself unmolested.  He went on and on about how a four inch tool didn't make you a man, it made you undeveloped and prepubescent, if not an actual child.  He was stringing up a rope when I slammed the door behind us.  Um, Tallhook.  His two partners dropped us off with him and didn't give him a share of the money either. One was a Brit of some sort or another, I can't tell the difference in accents."

"He was Welsh," Xander called before coming out in his jammie bottoms.  "One guy was Welsh, the other was Canadian, like the guy who had us.  The other guys called the driver, the Canadian guy, Reed.  Not sure if that was his first or last.  He did apologize for taking us as well.  Said he thought we'd be a bad idea but you couldn't tell Lindsey anything.  I'm guessing Lindsey was the other guy."

"Yeah," Don snorted.  "Anything else?"  Xander considered it then nodded. "What?"

"The apartment had things that were way high rent for a guy like him.  He sounded like a street thug, like Spike used to only with a different accent.  I know one of the statues in there, the one I threw at him, was over ten grand.  I looked at it because I liked it so much."

"What was it and where did you see it?"

"It was a black and red basalt statue of Isis.  I saw the one I did at the Emporium."  He sat down and curled up to look at them.  "The place I go to get candles and strange stuff.  Amy's are sandstone and a few basalt.  The black basalt one there was less carved and highlighted and it was ten grand."

Don blinked.  "Good memory, Xander.  Anything else come to mind?"

Xander thought then shook his head. "Not really.  He wasn't terribly impolite.  He even requested Aiden turn around so he could molest my mouth for a bit.  Politely even.  He dug into a big box of stuff to pay her to quit nagging him for a few.  Asked politely then too."

"Hey, at least this one had manners," Aiden said dryly.  She listened to the officer.  "Sure, I can make him come in tomorrow with me.  Thanks."  She hung up.  "We're both to be there when Don goes in so we can go over the statement."  Xander nodded.  "You okay?"

"Not the first one who tried to force it," Xander pointed out.  "Even when I was working there were a few who tried.  One I took the right of refusal seriously because he smelled off, like he was sick.  He tried for twenty minutes and when he figured out he wasn't going to win short of knocking me out, he went to complain to Devi and have him punish me.  I told Devi why I wouldn't and he had him tested, he was sick and carrying something transmittable.  Two of the other guys had to retire suddenly because they had been with him in the last few weeks."

"At least someone caught it before you got sick too," she reminded him, coming over to cuddle with him.  "What do I do about this jewelry?"

"I consider it a reparation for having the audacity to take me," he said honestly.  "Only my eventual boyfriend won't have to pay for my time."  She giggled and swatted him.  "Seriously.  He stole me, he can pay for it."  He snuggled into her shoulder, getting comfortable.  "Are you heading home tonight?" he asked with a yawn.  "If not, I'm going to nap."

"Sure, you nap.  If I have to I'll help put you to bed."  He nodded and closed his eyes, drifting off like that.  She yawned too.  "Sorry, Flackie, I tried."

"Uh-huh.  Next time you go armed, you tell me where you're taking him, and you fight back before he gets taken, especially since they wanted you too."

"Xander said he couldn't leave me behind. I was his bitch and I'd pout and sulk the PD into finding him.  They took me to make him cooperate."  She yawned again and snuggled in a bit.  "This is a really nice couch."

"Nap, Aiden. You deserve it for getting free."  She nodded, settling in to nap with him.  Don rolled his eyes, getting up to grab a pillow for them and a blanket in case they wanted it later on.  Then he went to his room to read and think.  That one had been too close.  He was going to have to start enforcing the protection rules.


Xander got up with a groan of complaint to open the door, the uniforms on the gentlemen waiting on him making him forget his latest book.  "You're a long way from Sunnydale, gentlemen."  He waved them inside but didn't offer, just in case.  Even with cops you never knew....

"Mr. Harris, we're here about a report we have to follow up on."  They watched as he sat.  "Someone reported you as being responsible for a rape recently."

"Excuse me? I haven't been back to Sunnydale since my so-called friends told me I wasn't needed and to never come home.  I've been in New York now for four months.  You can verify with my roommate, who is a local cop, if you want."  He stared at them.  "Who was I supposedly responsible for hurting?"

"Buffy Summers."  The other officer cleared his throat and sat across from him.  "Apparently she was at a frat party, got very drunk, and ended up underneath a pile of men.  Her mother said you were responsible."

"I haven't been home in five months and *I'm* responsible for her bad habits!" he demanded, hopping up.  "Why the hell am I responsible?"

"I'm hoping it's just a mother overreacting, sir, but we had to follow-up on it.  It's procedure."  He looked at him.  "You can prove you weren't home eight days ago?"

"I can."  Xander dialed Danny's number, knowing Don was probably hard at work since he was on a stakeout today.  "Danny, I'm sorry to bother you," he said, his voice tight and higher pitched than normal. "Can you please talk to the Sunnydale cops who're here and tell them I haven't been home?  No, no, it's important."  He handed over the phone and went to grab his cellphone from his room, dialing Joyce's number.  "I haven't been home in four months because your daughter and Willow told me I was worthless and they didn't want me to come back, that they were tired of saving my worthless and unskilled ass.  Why is this my fault?" he demanded calmly.  "Yes, Joyce, this is Xander.  I'm still in New York.  Like I've been for the last four months!  Ever since *your* daughter told me I can't come home to my own hometown."  She ranted. "That's not my fault!" he yelled, starting to pace.

"You know what, if she's drinking, that's *Rupert's* problem.  Buffy and Willow made it very clear that I wasn't welcome in my own hometown by my friends."  She went further.  "You know what, I wouldn't have been there anyway, Joyce, I don't drink. I never would've been at that frat party to stop her."  He snorted at the next bit of logic.  "That's Rupert's job to make her go hunting, not mine.  I did plenty of her hunting for her when she wanted to go out on dates and be a normal girl.  Guess this is the thanks I get.  Oh, don't worry, I'm never coming home again thanks to this."  He hung up and threw his phone into the wall as hard as he could.  Then he let out a scream of rage.  They had soundproofing spells on the condo now, but he didn't care.  He let out another one, letting it go before it ate him.

One of the officers tapped gently on the door.  "Sir, if you'd like to bring us down to the station, we can get a sworn statement from him and it'll get you off the hook," he said gently.  Xander glared at him, panting.  "Are you all right?"

"She decided that if I had been there, I would've pulled her out of the frat party and made her go hunting," he said in a deadly calm voice.  "That's not my job and I don't drink so I wouldn't have been there anyway."

"I know, sir. I wouldn't drink with how your father was either.  Can we go there to get that statement?  Some real friends might help you calm down."

"Yeah," Xander said, running a hand through his hair.  He grabbed his keys.  "Come on."  He led them out, turning to lock the door.  He led them down to his SUV, ignoring the looks.  "It's bulletproof.  I get kidnaped a lot."  He slid in to drive and they climbed in quickly.


Danny hung up and looked at Mac.  "Xander was just incoherently screaming in rage.  I gotta get back to talk to the Sunnydale cops he put me on with."


"One of his friend's mothers accused him of raping her back in Sunnydale because he wasn't there to pull her out of a frat party," he said honestly, gathering things up and heading back to the SUV.  They had two there, Mac could still get back but he was needed.  On the way he called Don.  "Xander's in a rage," he warned.  "Buffy's mom went illogical and said he raped her because he wasn't there to pull her out of the frat party."  He nodded.  "Heading there now, Don.  He was screaming in rage in the background.  Wordless rage.  Yeah, they're here.  Going to meet them now."  He hung up and hurried back, mentally berating people.  Mothers he could understand being hysterical but to push it after the initial crisis was over with was too much.  He parked and got out, finding Xander pounding a fist into the wall under one officer's careful watch.  "He good enough for now?"

"Nope.  He's going to hurt the building soon.  What happened?  I saw the two out-of-town cops."

"Family crisis back there he's being blamed for since he wasn't there."

"Gotta love your family since you can't kill 'em and get away with it," he noted dryly.  Xander glared at him and he backed off.  "Let's get your hand wrapped, kid."

"I'm fine.  I've had worse.  Danny, please.  I wasn't even there then!"

"I know, Xander.  Calm down."  He went to straighten this out.  He felt Don coming in and let him handle the kid; he did it better and could get away with holding him while he cried or raged some more.  He passed by Aiden.  "Go bandage Xander's hand for him? He was damaging the building."

"If you'll tell me what's going on."

"Get him to vent," he ordered.  He got a subtle point from one of the techs in his lab, nodding at them for it.  He walked in and shut the breakroom door.  "What can I do to stop this shit?"

"We need a signed and dated statement saying he was here during the critical times," one of them offered.  "We know it wasn't the kid.  He'd never have been in that frat house.  Harris never drank and his father was a drunk so I doubt he ever will.  Her mother's being irrational."

"The two girls really said he couldn't come back?" the other asked quietly.

"Said he was worthless, not wanted, that stuff," Danny assured him, sitting down to write out the statement for them.  "Told him to never come back because they were tired of taking care of him."

"He took care of them," the first officer noted dryly.  "We always knew the trio were hunting and it made our jobs a lot easier.  The Harris boy was the one we bet on first to die.  He's nothing special, we all knew that thanks to his family.  The kid could've done a lot but he chose not to because he couldn't get around his family."  Danny looked at him.  "His father was arrested for gambling, underaged sex while drunk, giving alcohol to minors, and assault on an officer when he resisted arrest.  They held that kid down."  Danny nodded at that.  "That his friends helped is wrong.  Especially since he's the one who saved them a few times."

"It's convenient blinders," Danny assured him, handing it over.  "There's no way he was out of our sights for long enough to even get a flight one way.  Unless you think he magiced himself back, that should be enough.  If not, let me know."

"Thank you, Detective.  Is he all right?  We told him up front we know he didn't do it.  He called her mother though.  That's when he started to scream."

"Xander's got a protector out here, someone to watch his back and make sure no one steals him.  He's got him well in hand."

"Why is he kidnaped?  He said he was when we gave his SUV a funny look."

"Ever hear of GHS?"  One of them nodded. "He's a member.  They want him to be theirs.  Another detective is watching him and living with him to protect him.  I can get him to give you another one if it'd help."


"Sure.  He's probably outside."  They headed back out, finding Don hitting the building now.  "The kid?"

"Aiden's got him.  I'm wearing out some anger so I can help him more."

Danny took his hand to look over, then the tape and gauze Aiden had left on the stairs to wrap it.  Don gave him an odd look. "Just until you get home," he said quietly.  "It'll help if you write a statement too."

"Sure.  Anything."  He looked at the two cops.  "You know it wasn't him, right?"

"We know," the second cop assured him.  "It's procedure to follow up on any clues given in a case.  Especially like this one.  To us, this is a short vacation.  He called her mother earlier, Detective."

Don nodded once.  "I'm gonna be the next one to talk ta her," he promised.  He took the pad of paper and sat on the stairs to write out a statement, reading it before signing it and handing it over.  That got a smile.  "Have a good vacation."

"Thank you, Detective.  Tell him his father's made a deal for ten-to-fifteen."  That got a nod and they left, going to their hotel.   They could fax the statements back there and then go out and see some sights tonight.

Don looked at Danny.  "How could anyone think that?"

"She's a mother," Danny pointed out, sitting beside him.  "We should go find Xander."

"Burns has him in our breakroom, cuddling him while he sobs," the lieutenant offered as she came out.  "What the hell happened, Flack?  And what's up with your hand?"

"I was killing the building instead of his friend's mother."  He looked back at her.  "His friend's mother decided that since he wasn't there to drag her daughter out of a frat party, where she ended up in a dog pile, it was his fault she was attacked."  His boss groaned at that.  "Told the cops that.  They had to follow up.  Then apparently Xander talked to her mother himself.  She was like his own mother at times, boss."  He got up, going to get his boy from Aiden.  Xander saw him and sniffled, drying it up.  "Crying in frustration and rage is still good, so is grief, Xander."  He let himself be held and cried on.  "It'll be okay.  You're here now and you've got good friends who give a damn."  Stella walked in.  "Not now."

"Sure.  Aiden?"

"Going home with him, Stella.  Tell Mac okay?"

"What happened?"  Aiden got up and came over to whisper in her ear.  Stella stiffened.  "Can we go out there?" she asked calmly.

Xander pulled back, wiping off his face.  "She said if I had been there, I'd have been at the party, even though I don't drink and I wasn't in college so wouldn't have had any reason to be at a frat party, and that I'd have made Buffy go do her damn job.  Something she and her Watcher couldn't.  Something I was doing for her a lot of nights so she could go be a girl again," he said bitterly.

"Well," Stella offered, unable to figure out what to say.  She came in and gave him a hug.  "It's all right, Xander.  She's a hysterical mother."

"It's been two weeks.  When I called earlier she's still blaming me.  Said it was my fault since I didn't come home.  That things are going to hell because I didn't come home. Blamed me for Buffy's drinking and partying habits.  For Willow going off worse.  All of it's my fault that they told me not to come home because I'm so worthless."

"You're a better man than any of them," she soothed.  Xander shrugged and got free, stomping out.  "Don, follow him, make him calm down."  He nodded, going to take the keys and drive the kid anywhere he wanted to go.  "Aiden, how long would a flight out there be?"

"Ten, eleven hours," Danny offered from his spot.  "Each way.  By the way, Aiden, his daddy took a deal when they arrested him after Willow and Oz got down with the family."

"For?" Stella asked.

"Gambling, underaged sex, giving alcohol to a minor, assault while resisting arrest."  He smirked.  "Ten-to-fifteen."

"If there's any sort of God, he'll die inside," Aiden assured him.  "We should make sure they both eat tonight and baby Don's hand."

"Don only had some scraped knuckles.  He'll be fine by tomorrow.  Probably not even any scabs."  He looked behind him then at the women.  "Damage control?"

"Fixed," Aiden assured him.  "One of the female patrol officers wanted to know who died.  I told her he was being blamed for it since he wasn't home, hadn't been home thanks to the person who got attacked.  If some stupid rumor pops up, I'm going to brain someone."

"Sure.  At least we know how to hide the bodies properly."  The ladies laughed at that and he let them out, going to see if they were outside again.  He ran into Mac. "Sorry."

"No, that's understandable.  Is it fixed?"

"They knew he didn't do it, Mac.  They needed statements to prove it.  Don and I both wrote one."  That got a smile.  "They're considering this a short vacation."

"You've got to follow-up on information when you get it," he agreed.  "If they need another one, have them come to me."  He patted Danny on the back.  "Aiden's fuming."

"The kid was crying on her when Don let her bring him inside."  He went to check on the ladies.  They were prone to doing stupid shit when they were this pissed.  Not that he wasn't, but he'd only call Oz.  Which he did.  "Hey, me.  Did you know Buffy's mom blamed Xander?  No, they showed up here today."  He smirked.  "Yeah, full breakdown, dented the building then cried on Aiden and Don.  Not tonight I'm not.  Not with how pissed the kid is.  Sure."  He hung up and called Don.  "Tell him Oz went to talk to Joyce and make her see sense.  No, no practice tonight, Don.  You're both too pissed not to hurt yourselves," he said quietly.  "Sure."  He hung up and looked at Aiden, then at Mac.  "Don went home with him. He'll be back in the morning."

"That's fine, I'll let his supervisor know," Mac promised.  "Is Xander all right now?"

"Nope, but I didn't hear him screaming or crying.  He's heading there."  He went back to the lab to work it out while he worked.  This called for a totally evil plan.  He called Methos.  "Hey, it's Danny.  Yeah, and?" he snorted.  "No, your boy isn't all right.  Wrong boy, old fart.  Yeah, that one.  No, he's not all right.  You might wanna ask Oz.  Xander was just tryin' ta kill a building."  He smirked.  "Sure.  Have fun with that."  He hung up.  That would get a good evil plan going.  The kid would see that he had a better family now.


Don woke up to the feeling of handcuffs on his wrists.  He took stock of his position. He was still dressed, all but his shoes.  He was on his side. There was a pillow under his head and a sheet over him.  He remembered coming home and groaned.  He had tried to cash in on Xander's promise of paying him orally last night while he had been really drunk.  He looked up at his captor. "I'm sorry, Xander. I was really drunk.  The guys at the bar were harassing me and I was stupidly drunk."

"The only rule I ever made about you being drunk was either tell me so I could go hide, or stay away from me," Xander said quietly, looking down at him. He was sitting up looking through a catalog.  "This is why, Don."

"I know.  I'm so sorry.  I didn't mean it, Xander, I'm sorry."

"You know, if you had *asked* I would've done it," he said bitterly.  "Instead you tried to go the hair grabbing route and force it."  Don blanched at that.  He put the catalog down and shifted down, facing him.  "Is that what you want, Don?  Because if it is, all you have to do is ask.  It'll help both of us."


"Don, listen.  We're going to be hundreds of years old.  You're going to know me next to forever."

"Point," he agreed.  He considered it.  It had been a while since he had dated.  "I, um, I'm still straight."

"Who cares?" Xander asked.  He shrugged and smirked.  "I don't care."

"Point," he said, seeing some humor now.  "If you want, it might do me some good.  Get my head back on straight.  Can I be uncuffed?"

"Where are your keys?"

"How did you get my cuffs on me?"

"I told you to let me go and I'd make it even better and you could have anything you wanted from me. You let me go and rolled onto your back, wiggling happily like a puppy's tail.  I grabbed them and put them on you, then I ignored you for the ten minutes it took you to pass out."

"I'm really sorry, kid."

"I know and I'm going to beat some of your coworkers.  Where are the keys?"

"My right pocket."  Xander patted them down then stuck his hand in, wiggling it since Don was laying on that side.  Don blushed at that.  "Um, they're against my thigh, I can feel the metal."

"That's because you've got a hole."  He pulled them out eventually, ignoring the brushing his knuckles had done against the hardening cock.  He got Don undone.  "In here or your room?"

"My room.  I like your room and all but it creeps me out being in here.  I feel like you're going to try to take what I don't need right now."

"I'm not like that but I think the original owner of the bed was like that." He let Don up and followed him back to his room, letting im pick a position.  Just a quick blowjob today.

Don looked at the clock.  "It's nearly six-thirty.  I've got to be in by eight."

"I can do it really quick and then you can take a short nap, get up and shower at seven. You can make it in."  Don shrugged and undid his pants, letting him fall to his knees to help him get off.  Don tasted good, kind of sweaty and a bit saltier than the other humans he had worked on before.  But it was an okay taste.  He gave him one of his best efforts, making Don groan.  Fingers were slid through his hair but his head wasn't forced or his hair yanked on. It was a nice feeling.  Don got off and he swallowed, then licked him clean.  He helped Don back into his bed and set his alarm, going back to his room to play with himself for a while longer.  It had been good to do that again.  It had been too long.  He needed more practice before he lost his skills.  He heard Don's alarm going off and smiled, pausing until he got into the shower, then he could go back to it.  That way he wouldn't creep Don out and he'd get to do it again later.


Don looked around the scene they were at.  They were off by themselves in this corner of the park.  There had been two bodies so Stella had the other one and it was around some bushes and a bit away.  "Can we talk?"

"Sure, later.  Mac's mad enough at me and I don't wanna make him madder by slacking off on a scene."  He looked at him.  "Big questions or little ones?"

"Something the kid said.  He said we'd know each other nearly forever."

"Forever lasts however long your head stays attached," Danny noted patiently.  "Just because we'll grow really old and know each other for a very long time doesn't mean we can't go any minute."

"Point.  I get that.  It's just the reasoning he was using to talk me into stuff."

Danny smirked at him.  "I noticed you looked more relaxed than you did when you went home last night."

"Yeah, well, I woke up in my handcuffs this morning because I was an annoying drunk last night," he said bitterly.  He glanced around again then moved closer.  "Do we often...try things?"

"Often," he agreed, smirking at him.  "Gotta have something to do, or else you get bored."

"What's average?"

"About two centuries.  You lose your first family and friends, then you spend some time guarding your heart.  Then you finally let someone in and lose them so you give up."  He gave him a knowing look.  "We've all gotta have things to cling to and things we can do with our lives, Don.  Some have more than others.  Some have less.  Some just get depressed and quit tryin' ta live."

"Okay.  I can understand that.  It's gonna suck losing them all."

"Not all.  The most stable of us make friends among us.  There's some friendship groups that're as tight as family.  Usually you meet as students or you meet over a job. Sometimes it's a teacher and his students.  Connor's got that.  Connor's like a huge banner-holder in one of the ancient battles at times.  Xander could become one."  Don shook his head.  "He's got it in him."

"He might but no.  He doesn't want to be well-known."

"Which is probably a good idea."  He got back to work.  "But you won't lose us all."

"Are any of the others...."

Danny grinned and nodded.  "One other.  Not who you'd think, you should be able to feel them really weakly when you're in the same room."

"Hawkes?" Don mouthed.  Danny nodded, smirking as he got back to work.  "That's surprising.  I'd have thought...."

"Yeah, but she's not.  We checked.  It'll be fine, Don.  We'll be fine.  We support each other when the going gets tough.  For now, all you've got to worry about is living and saving money for the thin times."  Don nodded at that, going to check on Stella.  "And get Xander to quit spending all his," Danny muttered. "He might need it more than most to steal himself back."


Xander tapped on Don's door that night, coming in to cuddle him and help him over.  "This way you don't have to worry about being late to work," he whispered, making Don smirk in the dark.  "Is that okay?"

"Sure, it was okay. Just slower this time, Xander."  He felt him nod and relaxed, letting Xander have access to anything he wanted.  He didn't try any romantic BS or try to cuddle him, just went right for the goal, which was appreciated.  He closed his eyes, enjoying the sensation of the warm, wet mouth and the tight throat.  Xander was very good.  He put a hand down to pet through his hair, still not pulling.  He wasn't going to guide him any, just let him show him how good he was.  It was very good, very soothing.  Don felt himself drifting off nearly as soon as he came.  Xander curled up on his shoulder, one arm over his stomach.  "Sure, you deserve a cuddle for that," he agreed sleepily.  Xander kissed him on the shoulder and snuggled in.  Don liked cuddling, cuddling after a good blowjob was nice.  Even if Xander did snore a bit it was still okay.  He could definitely get used to doing this every night and some lunches.  As long as Xander didn't start getting clingy, boyfriend thoughts about him.

The End.

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